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Matthew Cleveland turned down UK after late push from staff

The five-star prospect is now committed to Florida State.

HoopSeen TV

Highly coveted 2021 shooting guard Matthew Cleveland will not be playing his college basketball at Rupp Arena, despite interest from the Kentucky Wildcats.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Cleveland said before releasing his final five schools on June 29 that he received late interest from both Kentucky and North Carolina. Instead of hearing them out, he said told them it was too late.

“I’d already had my five by then,” Cleveland told Sports Illustrated. “I told them right away. I thanked them for reaching out but told them I wasn’t interested.”

He went onto announce his final four schools as planned with the list including North Carolina State, Florida State, Stanford, Kansas and Michigan.

Tuesday, he announced his commitment to the Florida State Seminoles.

247 Sports rates Cleveland as a four-star prospect, the third-ranked shooting guard in 2021, and the 24th overall ranked prospect. Rivals also ranks Cleveland as a four-star prospect and the nation’s 25th best prospect.

Currently, the only 2021 guards with scholarship offers from Kentucky are Jaden Hardy and Kennedy Chandler, though 2022 guard Skyy Clark also holds an offer any may reclassify into 2021.

In addition, Kentucky is now recruiting Belmont transfer guard Adam Kunkel, so John Calipari still has several backcourt options for 2021-22.